THE AUTISTIC LIFE 303
can only jar us by its disharmony and by its violent self-assertion, which we call bad taste. The best architecture is that which loses itself in the natural landscape and becomes one with it, belongs to it. This principle has guided all forms of Chinese architecture, from the * camel-back bridge to the pagoda, the temple and the little open pavilion on the edge of a pond. Its lines should soothe but not obtrude. Its roofs should nestle quietly beneath the kind shade of trees and soft boughs should gently brush its brow. The Chinese roof does not shout out loud and does not point its fingers at heaven. It only shows peace and bows in modesty before the firmament. It is a sign of the place where we tiumans live, and it suggests a certain amount of decency by covering up our human habitations. For we always remember to put a roof on all our houses, and do not allow them to stare at heaven in their unashamed nakedness like modern concrete buildings.
The best architecture' is that in which we are not made to feel where nature ends and where art begins. For this, the use of'Colour is of supreme importance. The terra-cotta walls of the Chinese temple merge harmoniously into the purple of the mountain sides, and its glazed roofs, laid in green, Prussian blue, purple or golden yellow, mingle with the red autumn leaves and the blue sky to give us a harmonious whole. And we stand and look at it from a distance and call it beautiful*